Alcatel-Lucent held a virtual global industry analyst event on 21 September to explain how it is changing the game with innovations such as “Immersive Communications.”
CEO Ben Verwaayen and his team provided a compelling service provider market strategy, broadening their relevance to the changing service provider business.
Leveraging its core competencies, broad portfolio, and past successes, Alcatel-Lucent appears to be stepping up its game to meet the needs of rapidly evolving telcos and mobile operators with a unifying vision and higher level of service.
Alcatel-Lucent has a long heritage of selling both technology products and integrated systems solutions to telcos and mobile operators, and uses that experience along with its broad product line to drive differentiation from specialist vendors that focus on segments of the network infrastructure market such as IP, optical, and access.
The company’s High Leverage Network (HLN) architecture and Applications Enablement strategy, introduced in January 2009, provide Alcatel-Lucent’s vision of the how networks need to cost-effectively evolve to meet operator needs to deliver revenue-generating, value-added services to their customers with high quality of service and quality of experience.
HLN is Alcatel-Lucent’s converged network architecture that integrates its IP, optics, wireless, and wireline broadband access hardware, software, and services.
HLN provides the foundation to support Application Enablement, which is Alcatel-Lucent’s strategy to unlock the value in networks by making network assets available to application and content providers in order to accelerate application innovation and drive increased revenues.
During this conference, Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs aired a new video showing integrated network-based applications in real-life situations, on any video-enabled device, anywhere, without the need for costly conferencing rooms. This represents its vision for Immersive Communications.
Alcatel-Lucent’s Immersive Communications seems to fill the gap between Microsoft’s PC-based applications and Cisco’s Telepresence, but also adds mobility, third-party APIs, and service provider business model support, which when taken together makes for a great cloud-based collaboration story for service providers.
We believe Alcatel-Lucent’s Immersive Communications is an interesting spin on long-anticipated multimedia communication, so not a competitive game changer. However, we do applaud the management for providing a unifying vision and roadmap for Alcatel-Lucent’s disparate business units, so perhaps it is a game changer within Alcatel-Lucent, if it can execute on it.
Verwaayen emphasized that Alcatel-Lucent understands the network and business transformation challenges network operators face and is a highly relevant business partner, helping customers launch new services, not selling them “do it yourself” boxes.
A video from AT&T’s Bill Hawe echoed that, and as an AT&T IP/MPLS/Ethernet and LTE domain partner, Alcatel-Lucent will take more end-to-end ownership as AT&T launches new mobile, IP/MPLS, and cloud-based services.
Alcatel-Lucent reports that its US telecoms business is booming, and California is currently the hub for global mobile market innovation - implying iPhone and Android smartphone and applications development - and that Alcatel-Lucent is a key mobile ecosystem player.
Alcatel-Lucent was strongest in North America last quarter, with 2Q10 revenues up 17% sequentially and up 39% year-on-year. Asia-Pacific was down 32% year-on-year due to “low activity in China”, but India was strong despite import disputes.
Questions were raised about whether Alcatel-Lucent is investing enough, particularly in the mobile packet core, to which Verwaayen responded that it is but did not cite specific mobile core R&D spending statistics.
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